It was another challenging day of testing for the McLaren Honda F1 team at Barcelona on Thursday where rookie racer Stoffel Vandoorne was back behind the wheel for his final day of pre-season testing.
The morning started well, with more aero correlation and data gathering consistent with the programme undertaken each morning on previous test days. The team also completed work on power unit settings and set-up configurations.
However, after just 24 laps, Stoffel lost electrical power to the car and stopped out on track. Once back in the garage, the team ran diagnostics, restarted the car, and Stoffel returned to the cockpit for a further nine laps.
The issue reappeared shortly before lunch, bringing Stoffel to a halt on track once again, and leading to another set of red flags.
The team then elected to strip down the car to investigate further and replace various electrical components – although the origin of the issue couldn’t be identified.
Stoffel returned to the track at 15:45, completing more runs with different handling settings, and running through set-up procedures required in preparation for Melbourne.
He finished the day on 48 laps, and will hand over the reins to Fernando later today for the final day of the test.
“It’s not been the best test for us in terms of mileage over the four days I’ve had in the car, but it’s all part of the learning,” he said. “I feel positive and confident in the car – when I’m out on track I feel comfortable to push straight away and get the maximum out of it. We’ve had some problems and it’s far from an ideal situation, but we’re aware of it and we’re working very hard to make sure we make big improvements before we go to Melbourne.”
“It’s difficult to know exactly where our pace is. There are a lot of things that we’re focusing on and a lot of procedures we’re going through, so we’re working hard to get on top of the issues and I hope we can make a step forward for Melbourne. I feel 100% ready; over the past couple of years I’ve had very good preparation with McLaren.”
“ Even though I haven’t had the mileage in the car that I would’ve liked, I’m still very excited. I’ll prepare very hard with the team over the next week, spend some more time in the simulator and go through the data we have brought back from the test, and hopefully we can go to Melbourne with some upgrades and some positive signs.”